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HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that weakens your immune system, eventually making your body incapable of combating infections effectively. Without treatment, an HIV infection will ultimately lead to AIDS: a complete collapse of your immune system. This is what happens inside your body when you are infected with HIV:

Progress of an HIV infection

  • HIV penetrates your CD4 cells.
  • HIV uses your CD4 cells to replicate itself.
  • The CD4 cells that have been used to replicate HIV die off.
  • The number of your CD4 cells decreases, your immune system becomes weaker and you start getting symptoms.

An HIV infection can have various different symptoms and lead to health problems. Not everyone will recognise these symptoms and health problems as being indicative of HIV. That is why it is important to be alert to them. Only an HIV test can show if you have HIV.

You can keep your immune system intact as much as possible by starting treatment with HIV medications as soon as possible. Thanks to the treatment, your immune system will recover, and you can grow old with HIV. Another advantage of getting treatment is that it will practically eliminate your chances of passing on your HIV to others.

As you want to know the score and have peace of mind

Easy and fast HIV test, anonymous: Municipal Health Service Amsterdam temporarily offers HIV self-test service, check: www.time2test.nl. An easy-to-take test, without blood involved. Results after 20 minutes.


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